Moussaka is a Greek dish with variations found in Middle East and North Africa. Layers of veggies, meat and a delicious Béchamel sauce topped with parmesan cheese is ultimate food love and makes it a perfect treat for taste buds.
Moussaka or musakka is pretty easy to prepare. All you need is 2hrs at hand and a desire to multi task to make this dish a total success. Just as it was today for me. I didn’t make Béchamel sauce because we get it in a ready made packet, that needs to be simmered in milk and it's ready to use.
In the original recipe, eggplant and potatoes are deep fried which gives a very good taste. However eggplant soaks in too much oil which is not always ok (definitely not for me ), so i made an healthier version of Moussaka by baking the veggies with just a little oil. It cooks well and the final layering with sauce and parmesan cheese is just the perfect last touch to get the veggies well cooked through.
You can serve Moussaka just as it is or serve with pickles, pita bread and hummus. I chose just Pita bread and it tastes just awesome:)
Let me warn you, you are going to read too many steps, but these are just detailing the recipe as l made it. It makes understanding easy and quick. So please do not feel this is some elaborate princely dish, this is pretty normal, chop chop, bake, cook, layer and bake! Done ;)
So fasten your culinary seat belts and go on to read the delicious recipe that you too can make for your friends and family!
This recipe can serve 4 persons with a reasonable appetite.
400gm ground meat (lamb or beef)
3 medium eggplants cut into roundels
3 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into roundels
1 medium onions sliced
1 large onion chopped
3 grated clove of garlic
2 small tomatoes chopped
2TB tomato paste (you may skip this and add a puree of tomato)
2tsp dried thyme (fresh if you prefer)
Salt to taste
1tsp each cumin & coriander powder
Freshly crushed black pepper
2-3TB chopped parsley
3TB shredded Parmesan cheese
1 - In a bowl add potatoes, sliced onions, salt, freshly crushed pepper and thyme. Mix. Add 1TB olive oil and mix.
2 - Grease a deep baking dish with olive oil . Drizzle some salt. Add the potatoes. Spread out in a even layer and bake in a preheated gas oven for 20mins at 200C.
3 - Add eggplant to a large bowl. Drizzle 1/2 tb olive oil, salt and 1/2 tsp thyme.
4 - Layer eggplant over the potatoes and bake for 20mins.
5 - In a pan add 1TB olive oil. Once heated. Add garlic and chopped onions, fry until light brown.
6 - Tip in tomato paste, cumin and coriander powder. Fry for less than a minute.
7 - Add ground meat and break it down using back of a spatula. Add chopped tomatoes, parsley and mix.
8 - Season with salt and freshly crushed black pepper. Cook for 15-17mins on medium heat. Mince shouldn’t be too dry or saucy.
9 - Prepare béchamel sauce as per package instructions. If making from scratch, click here
10 - Add quarter of the béchamel sauce to the cooked mince and mix.
11 - Add the mince over the eggplant and spread out evenly.
12 - Add rest of béchamel sauce over the mince and spread it evenly.
13 - Generously sprinkle 3tb of Parmesan cheese over the béchamel sauce.
14 - Bake in a pre heated gas oven for 35-40mins or until the top is well browned.
15 - Remove from the oven and cool down completely before serving with pita bread and salad or just as it is.